At Church in June, for Father’s Day, one of the speakers* said something that surprised me. It took me off guard because I had never thought about it before.
This man recounted how he had been in the line up at the grocery store recently and was, as many of us do, perusing the covers of the various magazines that are around the cash area. He noticed that while there were magazines that promoted men’s health and fashion, there weren’t any magazines, directed towards men, that talked of how to be good fathers or husbands.
I had never thought of that before, but as I thought about it then, and since, I realized it’s so true! We, as women, are almost bombarded with magazines that talk about life at home. Now, there are also a plethora of magazines for women that tout how to be sexier, what to wear, how to be more beautiful, etc. But we do have magazines that promote and give tips and support about being mothers and wives.
I haven’t found such things directed just towards men. There are magazines directed towards “parents”, but not just fathers.
In addition to the printed resources we have, we also have another, perhaps even more important resource: each other. We call each other; we visit each other; we share recipes; we cry and we laugh together.
Men don’t seem to have that. When they get together with their buddies and pals, they aren’t talking about recipes, potty training, and so on. Well, from what I can gather from men I know, that’s not what they are talking about. That’s not to say it never happens; I just don’t think it happens as frequently, freely, and easily as it does between women.
So where do men learn how to be good fathers and husbands? The only constant I can see is that it must come from the examples of the men around them as they grow up. Hopefully they had good fathers themselves. Otherwise, perhaps they had other good examples around them.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since that Sunday and it has helped me have more respect for the men I know who are good fathers and husbands because with the almost bombarding of information about other things they “should” have as their priorities, some of them (can I say many of them?) still put their families first and I have to give them serious kudos for that!!
Would love to hear what you think… where did you learn how to be a good husband and father? Do you think society is changing in that it’s easier these days for fathers to put their priorities inside the home rather than strictly outside it?
* In my Church, we don’t have paid clergy. Each week, members of the congregation (usually 3 different people each Sunday) are asked to give talks on various topics.